March 18, 2009 by Rohan Kini
Dasrathi, or Das as most of us know him, is not only an avid biker but is also one of those few who walks his talk. He is a very active member of Hasiru Usiru and is a staunch Bangalorean at heart !
Das is also a Director at CADEM and blows away the stereotype of driving around in a big car(s) if you are higher up in the monkey chain.
handing over the ‘mike’ to Das …
Avatars of Das
I’ve been cycling in Bangalore the last 9 years and have been commuting to work on a bicycle the last 5 years. A distance of 15 km each way (Sadashivanagar to my office in Jayanagar).
Through the yuckiest parts of Bangalore (in terms of traffic).
Started off with a used, plain vanilla Hercules MTB that I bought for Rs. 1400. Used it for 3 years, then bought a Thunder MTB and a Yeah (the Chinese cheapo version of the Dahon) folder.
Both got stolen a year ago, and I now have a Trek 4300 and a Dahon folder.
Why I cycle
- I wanted to make exercise a part of my lifestyle, not something that I do as a separate activity. Combining exercise with my commute seemed a logical solution.
- I want to be a part of the solution to Bangalore’s traffic issues, not a part of the problem. I believe that using an automobile is a crime anywhere in general, and in Bangalore in particular.
- I believe in doing minimal damage to the environment.
- I save time. My total commute time by bicycle is only 30 minutes more than by car. Going to a gym would have taken me 1.5 hours, so I save 1 hour a day.
- I save on gym fees. Before I started cycling, I used to spend an hour and a half at the gym every day. I never liked that because it was indoors and monotonous and I always used to look for excuses to avoid gym.
- Nice cure for Monday morning blues. Cycling to work is something that I look forward to doing every morning.
- I save on medical bills. No lifestyle diseases caused by being a city-slicker.
- Sexy legs.
Cycling in Bangalore – what bugs me
Very little. The traffic, noise and pollution do not bother me. Cycling is like yoga – I am mentally very calm when cycling. In a car on the other hand I’m irritated and tense in Bangalore’s traffic.
Cycling in Bangalore – what gives me joy
I get a whole lot of small joys
- A bus-load of kids waving to me from a bus that has stopped next to me at a traffic junction.
- Guys in cars and 2-wheelers giving me a Thumbs-up sign and smiling at me, saying “Keep it up”. Unlike some of you dirty minded people out there, I never wonder “Keep what up?”. I know the guy means “Keep the enthu up. – Just looking at you on that bike has made my day, given ME some josh”
- Getting perverse joy from getting totally drenched in a rain, mud from passing passing vehicles all over me, yelling with joy at the top of my voice because nobody can hear me anyway.
- Smelling the rain on the dry earth, police constables at traffic intersections coming over for a chat, shopkeepers becoming friends, strangers smiling at me.
Like what happened last week. I dropped by at a small shop selling silver ornaments on Avenue Rd. to get a clasp for a bracelet of mine. After he gave me one I told him “The previous one you gave me lasted just 6 months. I hope this one won’t break”. The guy says “I’m always going to give you one that breaks, so you have to come back periodically and I get to chat with you and see you on your bike”.
The bottom feeder on the road, an article I wrote 5 years ago.
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